TALKING TACTICS: Trippier can be a deadly weapon

IN the last of a three-part look at Burnley’s opponents tomorrow - Middlesbrough - Phil Smith reveals what areas the Clarets can exploit at Turf Moor.

Middlesbrough place great emphasis on attack.

Expect them to be numerically imbalanced after losing possession.

Burnley will be pressured if facing their own goal.

Concentration will be imperative - individual mistakes will prove costly.

Pressure will not be applied when we are facing the play.

Block compactness will be kept.

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Carl Ikeme is an inconsistent shot stopper. The former Accrington Stanley loanee has kept just one clean sheet in his last 10 professional appearances. Expect the second ball. My message? Follow in and believe.

Joe Bennett has excellent defensive transition. The England Under 21 international recovers quickly and closes in the midfield.

The Achilles’ heel of any attack-minded side is the defence.

Middlesbrough have conceded in each of their last three league fixtures.

A reason for this may be the positioning of the defence.

They can be positioned too high.

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Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray has an away victory success rate of 52.8%.

Last time out (4-5-1): Ikeme; McMahon, Bates, McManus, Hoyte; Bailey, Williams, Arca, Bennett, Robson; Emnes.

Future Talking Tactics columns will include the Play Book, where I offer the reader my suggestions as to which plays I would adopt against our forthcoming opposition.

Our offensive transition must utilise the space behind McManus, Bates and McMahon (see Diagram B).

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In the diagram you notice that Charlie Austin has positioned himself some distance away from the opposition penalty area.

This has drawn his marker, Matthew Bates, deep into midfield.

Middlesbrough are now dangerously exposed.

X1 and X2 now have a 2v1 mismatch in their favour against McMahon.

Middlesbrough are likely to play five men across the middle. If Burnley opt for 4-4-2, then I would favour a play similar to the one I suggested against Derby County a fortnight ago.

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Space in the centre will be condensed, and thus Kieren Trippier becomes a deadly weapon

Diagram B details the dynamics of our right hand side.

This play sees Ross Wallace clear space to facilitate the penetration of Trippier.

Early crossing opportunities will be generated.

Play the percentages.

Mismatch will be in our favour in the danger zone (see Diagram A).